Last season undrafted rookie Kent Bazemore became a fan favorite because of his fan-like excitement he brought to the Golden State Warriors bench. While Bazemore didn’t play many minutes, his work ethic and enthusiastic personality were essential to the Warriors last year. During last year’s classic (in a tuck rule / slide Jeremy slide kind of way) game one loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Bazemore actually made a last second layup that we all thought would give the Warriors a dramatic win. However, Manu Ginobili’s incredible three point shot as time expired stole Bazemore’s heroic moment.
Bazemore once again looked like an intriguing prospect during the Warriors undefeated, championship run in the summer league this year. Not only did Bazemore showcase his elite defensive skills, but he also averaged 18 points a game. With the loss of Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, and Jarret Jack, Bazemore must fill the role of defensive enforcer especially when Andre Iguodala is on the bench.
The Warriors brass actually envisions Bazemore playing some point guard this year also. I can see Bazemore being able to play point guard in spurts because his unreal athleticism can shut own opposing ball handlers but he still needs to work on his offensive game.
Last season ESPN ranked Bazemore as the 499th rated player out of 500 NBA players they rated before the season started. Bazemore used this disrespectful ranking as motivation by stitching 499 into his shoes. Hopefully, Bazemore keeps that fire going this year because he will be an important role player for the powerhouse Golden State Warriors (When was the last time the Warriors were a powerhouse before the season started?)